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Lake Como Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 771

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Lake Como, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Language Italian
Time Difference 2 hours
Currency Euro
Voltage 230v

Wedged between steep, forested peaks, sparkling Lake Como is spectacular, its meandering shores sprinkled with handsome villas and centuries-old towns draped with bougainvillea and wisteria. Measuring 47km from north to south, the main town is Como, nestled where the western and southern shores meet. The ambience around the lake is one of faded grandeur and timeless appeal, where a blend of Victorian Britain and Italian Renaissance is noticeable in the palatial architecture, manicured gardens, olive groves, fruit orchards and vineyards. Car ferries, water-taxis and private boats cross the lake, making travelling from one town or attraction to another very straight forward. By evening, take your pick from a veritable feast of lakeshore eateries, their lanterns casting a warm, welcoming glow.

Highlights+
Golf

Golf Club Villa d'Este is approximately seven miles from the fabulous Villa d'Este hotel in Cernobbio and features an 18-hole, par-69, golf course designed by Peter Gannon. It’s a challenging course, yet hosts several amateur competitions each year. Golfers are also blessed with a fabulous viewpoint of Montorfano Lake from the clubhouse.

Walking & Cycling

Fantastic walks can be found on the lake’s western side on Lake Como Greenway, a trail that largely clings to the edge of the water, occasionally climbing up the hill behind. Around Tremezzo, it passes through a very attractive lakeside park, where locals come to picnic and bathe at weekends. Alternatively, join a guided walking tour and uncover the backwaters of a specific town, book an e-bike sightseeing tour or take the funicular on the western side of the lake to the top of the mountain to enjoy spectacular views.

Lakeside Towns

Cernobbio is a pretty town at the foot of Mount Bisbino, where narrow streets and piazzas are lined with elegant residences, cafés, restaurants and shops. The atmosphere is bustling, particularly down by the harbour, with ferrys linking to many other towns. Varenna is charm personified, with its steep, winding alleys and flower-filled balconies. As you approach from the lake, you are greeted by a delightful set of narrow houses overlooking a small beach lined with boats. From here, you can go fishing but, instead, why not try some of the delicious fresh fish found in one of the local trattorias instead? Menaggio is another gem, dotted with ornate villas and houses. It’s also a great spot for soaking up amazing views of Bellagio and Varenna in the distance.

Bellagio

Considered by many to be the most beautiful old town in the Italian Lake District, Bellagio boasts a spectacular location at the junction of the lake’s arms and breathtaking vistas from its tree-lined promenade. Stroll through its maze of cobblestone streets and stepped alleyways, admiring impeccable homes and glorious villas along the way. Two glorious gardens of note can be found at the stunning Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi – both are in full bloom by mid-September and are open to visitors. There is also a good helping of eateries, especially off the main street, Via Garibaldi – home to the main piazza and fresco-filled church of San Giacomo.

Como

The 2,000-year-old Roman walled city of Como enjoys a picturesque waterfront setting and is a known centre of textiles, including some wonderful silks – perfect for splashing out on an elegant keepsake! Head to the Old Town to discover the cathedral, picturesque piazzas and pavement cafes perfect for people-watching. The lakeside Villa Olmo is a spectacular Neoclassical palace that hosts art exhibitions, its English-inspired and Italianate gardens are also open to the public. From Como, it’s possible to take the train to Milan, just thirty minutes away.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

Tours
Villa d'Este offers a host of excurisons including private chauffuer-driven tours, motorboats with your own Captain and scenic seaplane flights over the lake.

Isola Comacina
The island's only island, Comacina is unihabited today, but the little church of St John celebrates the saint's feast day (24 June) every year with a firework display on the following Saturday that lights up the lake.

Climate+

At times, the weather follows Mediterranean patterns, with sub-tropical plants, olives and vines loving the warm sunshine. The best time to visit is from April to October, when it’s warm, mild and somewhat humid. Spring has considerable rainfall, while warm summer temperatures from June to August mean its possible to swim in the lake, though there are scattered showers during this time. Autumn is wonderful, with snow-capped peaks, ‘glowing’ trees and cooler temperatures, while winter is extremely cold, with reduced daylight hours and temperatures often below zero.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Lake Como.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January572
February771
March1198
April20124
May24158
June27135
July25108
August22137
September16122
October16135
November10120
December663

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways from London Heathrow to Milan.

Flight Time
London Heathrow to Milan: 1 hour, 55 minutes.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Talk to our Europe & North Africa Experts

Our dedicated Europe & North Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Lake Como. Furthermore, we have 8 Travel Consultants who have personally visited Lake Como and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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